Life has been very different for me since we moved to Rhode Island. I had started to learn how to be a SAHM in Maryland after I left my job back in March. But it didn’t feel real since the kids were still in school for most of it, and the stress of needing a new job certainly hung over my time at home. I at least got to take advantage of getting extra time with my mom, sister and friends. When the news of our impending move came, I was back in a job, but knew it was short-lived. And our final weeks in Maryland were spent creating lasting memories with friends and family and, of course, packing. So when we moved here, I had to get used to staying home with the kids full-time. There was no school to take them to, no friends to schedule playdates with, no family to help out, no job to escape to. It was just me, Mason and Cooper. Jeremy and I had agreed that I would not take a new job until the kids started school, so I really had to settle in to the new role. It was a fun, but trying summer to say the least.
Now the kids are both in school – Mason in 1st grade and at aftercare and Cooper in full day Pre-K. I have them set up so that when I do finally get a job, we’ll be all set with our childcare needs. But without a job yet, what am I doing with myself? I ask that question every day. What can I do to have a purpose today? How can I contribute today? It’s a lonely day without friends to see or family to visit or a job to get done. For that reason, I try to make lists each week of tasks that I want to get done or that should get done. It’s the only way for me to stay on track or else I would just sit in front of the tv all day immobilized by loneliness and uncertainty.
I thought it would be helpful for me to write about what I do all day – help me see that I do actually have a purpose right now. But then I realized that for those friends and family wondering how we’re doing, this might be a good peek into a day in the life…
6:00am – Alarm goes off. I hit snooze.
6:10am – Alarm goes off again. Plane flies overhead since we’re in a popular flight path, and I am more than ready to get up. Depending on the day, I either shower right away or throw on some clothes knowing I will work out later that morning.
6:30am – Nudge Jeremy out of bed.
7:00am – Make breakfast for everyone while also packing lunch for Mason and sometimes Jeremy. (Thankfully Cooper’s school provides breakfast, lunch and snack. Can I get a Hallelujah?!)
7:30am – Struggle with kids to get them dressed, have them make their beds, and brush their teeth. (Why is it the same struggle every single day? I’ll never understand.)
7:45am – Wave goodbye to Jeremy as he drives off on his scooter.
7:58am – Rush to get the kids in socks and shoes. (No matter how early we get up, there is always a rush at the last minute.)
8:00am – Walk Mason to the bus stop. Then Cooper and I hop in the car and head over to his school.
8:30am – Back home, I immediately sit down at the computer to check email, Facebook, Google Reader and Pinterest.
9:45am – After getting sucked into all the above, I realize the time and start the daily job search. I have my usual searches that I do daily, but alternate each week with some other websites like the local colleges and bigger company career websites. As you might expect, I have this all charted – when I search, where I search, if I applied to any jobs, copies of my cover letters, etc.
10:30am – I’m ready for a workout by this time or a task on my list that gets me out of the house or at least moving around.
Noon – Lunch either watching something I DVR’d or reading at our table in the backyard. At least once a week I try to get downtown for a lunch date with Jeremy. Gotta take advantage of our “childcare” since we don’t have a regular babysitter yet.
1:00pm – 4:00pm – The afternoon usually is spent doing errands or cleaning the house or watching more TV (Hey, I’m being honest!) or cruising the web or baking.
4:15pm – Leave to pick up the kids.
5:00pm – Help Mason with her homework and reading time while making sure Cooper is not wreaking havoc all over the house while also trying to start dinner. (The witching hour begins!)
5:30-8:00pm – Our evening routine is changing this week. We’ve just joined the YMCA and are trying to get there two nights a week. That means the kids eat dinner early, Jeremy gets home, we workout while the kids play in the Family Fun Center, come home, get the kids to bed and then the grown-ups eat. Wednesdays are our video game nights where we eat dinner and then do a variety of video games we can all enjoy. And any other night is usually just a family dinner followed by trying to stay caught up with So You Think You Can Dance or The Voice.
8:30pm – After finally getting silence from upstairs, Jeremy and I settle in for more TV and relaxation.
10:30pm – Grown-ups are out! Peace! (Phineas and Ferb reference – if you don’t watch it yet, you’re missing out!)
And that’s a day in the life. It might seem a bit boring, and I’m sure there is plenty more I should be taking advantage of or doing to make the best of my time off before I get a job, but this is where I am these days. It’s not glamorous. It’s not perfect. And honestly, it’s not what I would choose. I’m eager to get back to work, to meet people, to bring in more income… I know that having a job will change things at home yet again, and it will be more stressful to still do everything I need to do as a mom and wife while also having a job outside the house, but I’m ready for it. (Just look at the schedule. Is everything between 8:30am and 4:15pm necessary? Obviously now it is because it involves the job search, but other than that…??? Will life really change that much? Maybe. Maybe not. I just hope I have the opportunity to find out soon.) And when a new job does come, I’ll do another “Day In The Life.” It will be interesting to compare, won’t it?